Ranu Mukherjee makes bodies of work and large scale installations by combining drawing, painting and print on fabric or paper alongside video, animation and choreography. She layers and re-contextualizes images from a diverse array of sources, including historical Indian figuration, current events and real and imagined landscapes, to address the complex relationship between visibility, abstraction and the illusion of knowing that prevails in a data-driven culture. Her recent projects explore the present as a confluence of tension between colonial legacy, indigenous power and ways the colonized speak to the future. Ranu engages an elemental perspective in making art that embodies the forces of otherness; of the hybrid, the diasporic and the speculative.
.“There is cultural time and there is material time. The body connects to both.” from notes on Shadowtime, Ranu Mukherjee 2016-17
awkwardness and beauty. engaging the visceral through a hybrid and visibly crafted aesthetic
color. the space of color, the life of color, the non white-ness of color. Michael Taussig’s What Color is the Sacred? color as an actor, context or stage. color as an animate force and an embodiment of time
creolization. inventing visual forms of Creole, encouraging broad recognition of the complex legacies making up the urban environment. elements sometimes flow together smoothly, and at others are jammed together awkwardly. this is the construction of culture. the making of work that is at least bi-lingual. migration is the origin story
excess. paying a certain kind of attention. working with the excess produced by instrumentalized narratives, information, bodies, objects, everything. the sheer amount of focus and work it takes to resist the forces of instrumentalization
fragment as a unit of measurement. pictorial wholeness no longer makes sense. the incomplete is familiar. it is imperative to leave an opening for what we don't know
figure-ground a new urgency around figure-ground relationships pervades
landscape as a stage and an energetic body. the compressed spaces of body, stage and picture plane. the specificity of place. the importance of the experiential in the making of meaning. the crossing syntaxes of project based work and picture making
neo-animist. vibrant matter, a distributed body. identification with a wide spectrum of organic matter.deep ecology. expansiveness. see the work of Betti Marenko
neo-futurist. speculative fiction. the narratives we have about the future- literary, journalistic, popular and data driven. the other side of the Modernist dream- a watershed moment for industrial production
nomadic. the condition of contemporary life- the un-static. the contradiction between a desirable philosophical space and a potentially exhausting life style. sometimes through desire, sometimes a condition of work, war and other forms of violence, economics. an uprooting and spreading of visual matter and information. a demand. a demand on artists.
0rphandrift a collective artist/entity that emerged in 1994 through Suzie Karakashian, Ranu Mukherjee, Mer Maggie Roberts and Erle Stenberg, plus several collaborators. www.orphandriftarchive.com
procession a form able to carry individual expressions within collective production. the performance of reassembled mythologies for the purposes of re-alignment and recognition. an honoring.
race and abstraction being visibly mixed in a precarious and divisive historical time and place makes the question of pictorial representation- of bodies in particular- tricky and sticky. (not to mention questions of identity)
shadowtime a word invented with the Bureau for Linguistical Reality in 2015 to convey the feeling of living simultaneously in two distinctly different time scales, or the acute consciousness of the possibility that the near future will be drastically different than the present.
time travel. the expansiveness of the body and the ability to perceive differing temporal scales- some that are epic. The scale by which energy takes affect.
tentacles i am the mother of triplets. i make things in 3’s. i have been 2 boys and a girl. i have grown 3 organs. i was well prepared for motherhood through speculative fiction and cyberpunk. i make work which has at least one easily accessible dimension. i think about what we leave. Octopi have 3 hearts and great shape shifting capacity, some day I will find a way to communicate with one.
unknown, the stranger within myself. the stranger that is half of my DNA. making space for the unknown to guide the work. the resistance to explaining it all away.
unmaking occupying images and forms as an artist, to unmake them. re-mak ing them into artworks that have a performative capacity. teasing out tensions between performance and representation,
xeno-real. pictures from late 19th and early 20th century India which describe the beginning of the post-colonial. the playing out of the post-colonial.seethe work of Christopher Pinney